A. J. Cook Speaker Profile
A.J. Cook is a Canadian actress best known for her roles in the TV dramas Criminal Minds and Higher Ground and the films The Virgin Suicides and Final Destination 2.
A.J. Cook was born in Oshawa, Ontario but she and her three siblings spent most of their life growing up in Whitby. Her father is a teacher and her mother is a sheriff and works for a psychiatrist.
At four years of age, Cook began taking jazz, tap and ballet lessons. She danced competitively for many years and taught the art in her Oshawa home before deciding at the age of 17 that she wanted to try acting. She then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to study at Utah Valley University, where she first meet her now husband at a film class, until work make them move to Los Angeles around mid-2002.
Not exactly a total beginner - she had starred in school productions of Romeo and Juliet and You Can't Take it With You - she paid her dues with small roles and TV commercials. As a matter of fact Cook's first job was in the children's TV series Goosebumps and after a McDonald's commercial in 1997, she landed parts in two television movies, In His Father's Shoes and Elvis Meets Nixon.
In 1999 she got her first big break as one of the five blonde Lisbon suicidal sisters in The Virgin Suicides. That same year she took a starring role in the Vancouver-shot cable-TV series Higher Ground, in which she played Shelby Merrick, a rough-around-the-edges teenage girl dealing with abuse and heartache at a wilderness school for struggling kids.
After another TV movie and the snowboarding comedy Out Cold, Cook found her niche as a lead actress in thriller/horror movies including Ripper: Letter From Hell in 2001, Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell, The House Next Door and Final Destination 2 as Kimberly Corman, her most notable role on the big screen since. At the same time she was cast in guest star roles in TV series like PSI Factor, First Wave and Dead Like Me, and a recurring role as Lindsay Walken in True Calling.
Finally, in 2005 she got the role that has allowed her to gain recognition, FBI Special Agent Jennifer Jareau, media liason of the BAU leading team, in the drama series Criminal Minds.
During the hiatus of her main work, she continues to get roles in films like Vanished, Misconceptions and Mother's Day.
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